DIAMONDS

It disappoints me when I see women who still desire diamond engagement rings. I could argue against diamonds from the moral viewpoint of what diamond traders have done to the native people where they are mined, but I know that wouldn’t matter to the shallow American woman. They believe that diamonds actually have value, and manipulate beta males into buying them so they can show it off to their girlfriends.

Diamonds are completely worthless. If diamonds were worth something, don’t you think they would be traded like gold, silver, copper, and platinum? Don’t you think they would at least be held by investors? (Even coins are held as investments.) Investors would laugh in your face if you suggest diamonds as a way to build wealth.

In 1982, Edward Jay Epstein wrote an article for The Atlantic which explained how diamonds got popular through marketing alone. Women bought the advertising and became gullible pawns in the global diamond trade, along with every other product that advertises qualities of luxury. Louis Vuitton bag anyone?

Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever ? ?forever? in the sense that they should never be resold.

In addition, the agency suggested offering stories and society photographs to selected magazines and newspapers which would reinforce the link between diamonds and romance. Stories would stress the size of diamonds that celebrities presented to their loved ones, and photographs would conspicuously show the glittering stone on the hand of a well-known woman.

?Since 1939 an entirely new generation of young people has grown to marriageable age,? it said. ?To this new generation a diamond ring is considered a necessity to engagements by virtually everyone.? The message had been so successfully impressed on the minds of this generation that those who could not afford to buy a diamond at the time of their marriage would ?defer the purchase? rather than forgo it.

Information about the diamond scam has been out for decades, yet I still see women with huge rocks on their fingers, uncontrollably grinning as they remark on how happy they are with their fiance. Are women really this shallow? I wonder what is their thought process when they gently urge their man to spend thousands of dollars on a worthless piece of jewelry. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on a house down-payment? Something that – you know – improves the quality of your life?

If you find a woman who asks you to spend a huge amount of money on a diamond, please think twice before marrying her. She has no concept of the value of money. She doesn’t care about how hard you work and all the time it took you to reach success. If she did then she would beg you NOT to buy her a diamond engagement ring. She just wants visible, flashy objects such as jewelry, cars, and clothes to show off because she doesn’t know any better. She will make it hard for you and your growing family to save and live within your means. She will want to spend money on material possessions instead of meaningful experiences. Her concept of happiness is accumulation of worthless junk, and it starts before you even walk down the aisle.

I think there is some truth to the cliche, “The bigger the engagement ring, the faster the divorce.” Show the diamond article to your future fiance but don’t say anything. If she has any common sense in her then she will forgo whatever superficial emotional bond she has to the idea of having a diamond and choose to save that money for something that has real value instead. I will never marry a woman who wants a diamond. No man should.

74 thoughts on “DIAMONDS

  1. CrazyGirl

    Funny, my boyfriend asked me to marry him today. Of course, I said yes. He asked if I wanted a ring, and I declined. I’d rather just have a plain wedding band. I do agree with a lot of DCB’s reasons. Diamonds are big because the industry has made them big. They are constantly warping the female mind to think that if you get a diamond, then he really must love you. So stupid. IF I did want a ring, I’d want a white gold jemstone such as amethyst or aquamarine. Not something that is going to take 2-4 paychecks to cover. Colored jemstones are where it’s at. Why on earth would you want something that EVERY OTHER GIRL out there has?

  2. Anonymous

    Yeah… but then you are going in the exact opposite direction of being trendy: “Being different for the sake of being different.”

  3. CrazyGirl

    No, I’m not doing it for the sake of being different. I’m doing it because I really don’t want a big bling-blingity rock on my hand that I don’t really care for.

  4. AFeskimo

    My husband proposed without a ring. He asked what kind I wanted, and I said it was up to him. My diamond is small, which is fine by me. It’s also flawless, which is better quality than the boulders most girls go for. As for it being a symbol, so is the wedding band, for that matter….the vows and/or legal documents are what bind you, not the jewelry that’s on your hand…….and to reciprocate, my husband’s ring has diamonds as well. I don’t believe it’s shallow to like or want one, either.

  5. SomeGuyInDC

    I’m a middle class civil servant with college debt. I’m also surface of the sun flaming liberal. I was raised Catholic, but because of political and theological disagreements I usually attend Quaker meeting or a non-denominational church. I’ve also studied feminism extensively, and consider myself a ?third wave? feminist. I’ve read many news articles and studies about diamonds, and I know that they are intrinsically worthless.

    And when I meet the right woman and propose, I will buy her a diamond ring if she wants one. And it will be the largest one that I can reasonably afford while accomplishing all of our other financial goals. If she doesn’t want one, then I don’t care. I would prefer to buy her a sapphire or alexandrite or something that is actually valuable. But the choice is hers. If it brings her joy to wear it, it will bring me joy to put it on her finger.

    A diamond IS symbolic. Some small subsection of over-educated liberals (like me!) believe that people who buy diamonds are idiots. I find this ironic, as the word “idiot” is derived from the Greek “idios” – which referred to people who were overly concerned with themselves and ignored the community and its standards. It is diamond haters who ignore the larger truth of the situation – the vast majority of people in this country value and admire diamond engagement rings. They are no more or less valuable then an expensive piece of real estate, a purebred dog, or toys for a small child who may never remember them – their value is partially real but mostly sentimental. Accept that people are creatures of both logic and emotion – your relationships will be better for it.

  6. jaime

    Phil and nabeel:

    Here’s your couple. I declined the diamond over five years ago (when conflict daimonds were still likely in every jewelry store). All I wanted were matching, simple bands, and even those are just symbols. The point at that time, imo, was that we were getting married. Today, the point is that we’re still married, and happily.

    Say what you will, but I’m not going to be asking for one later down the road. We have far too many priorities for our money (the house, concerts/shows, books, guitars…).

    And I assume this thread is meant to take into account only straight women – I’ve yet to see any civilly committed women flashing their bling.

  7. Anonymous

    http://bristol.craigslist.org/about/best/chi/28204977.html

    The Psycho Moment: Engagement

    Some years have passed, so I can talk about this now.

    Many many moons ago, I started dating this very cool girl. We hit it off right away, had lots in common, she was smart, agressive, cool and funny. And hot. Really hot.

    So we dated for a while, which became a year, then nearly two. I figured she was it. We worked together on decisions, but I followed my passions and she followed hers – both career professionals, both creative, and both ready to kick this town for a Carribean cottage if the thought ever struck us. Adventure. Romance. Lots of Sex. All was right with my world.

    So I did what I figured I should do – I went out shopping for a diamond ring.

    That was the biggest mistake I ever made.

    I can’t really put my finger on the exact change, but over the years, I’ve cometo summarize it this way: I went from being the guy she loved and wanted to marry to the guy who didn’t match up with her fantasy about getting married, in about 24 hours.

    She started acting as if I was completely incapable of making any decisons on my own, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. She criticized everything I did. She tried to make me look like some idiot, Homer Simpson type. Now, I’m not splitting atoms in the basement or anything, but I was Fulbright kid for a year and graduated cum laude, and I have a tendency to avoid dumb shit like telemarking scams, computer viruses, STD’s and, well, white slavery rings. Let’s just say I’m no Homer.

    Then the wedding planning started, and HO LEE SHIT. We were doing alright, for sure, but she had put together about a 45K day for us in a matter of a week or two. When I objected to some ridiculous expense (bunting? WTF?), I was told I was wrong, or “didn’t know what I was talking about” and, unless I wanted a big fight, I shut up right there. Trust me, when I balked at the cost of flowers, I was nearly decapitated.

    Nearly all of this, I was told, was “What she always wanted”.

    Well, I always wanted 15 playboy bunnies oiled up on a water bed in the horniest state known to womankind, which I think might have actually cost LESS, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen.

    I hit the ceiling when I saw the guestlist. 225. I barely know 225 people, let alone want to feed them and watch them get drunk while my savings account cries to me over the phone “You have ZERO dollars and 22 cents”. Who is this? That? A bartender you know? I don’t even LIKE that girl!

    One night, I told her this: You know what, you’re going to have about as much fun, possibly more, if I don’t show up at this thing.

    She laughed.

    So I bailed. Yup, I packed my shit and hit the door, a good 4 months prior to the date of my pre-planned, ever-priced, heavily adorned demise. I called it off, packed my shit and left. And I have never looked back.

    Oh, we had a big talk. It was about as much fun as you’d expect. I got my hair blown back for an hour or so, but I was already numb. She’d been yelling at me about this and that for so long, I couldn’t tell anymore when she was mad or not.

    Maybe the hardest part was that I was having incredible sucess, in lots of things, while all this was happening. Musically, professionaly – things were really coming together for me. And she couldn’t be pleased. In the end, it’s her loss, but I’ve always wondered what the fuck she was thinking.

    The moral to this story?

    Engagement Ring – $3800.00 (never got it back)
    Non-Refundable Deposits – $5200.00 (all my money)
    Moving Expenses – $750.00
    Being Single again – Priceless.

  8. hedonistic

    THAT was the Attack of BRIDEZILLA!!!!!!!

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was married outdoors in my prom dress. The wedding, the ring, and the honeymoon put together cost less than $2500. But I’m just a Midwestern transplant. We have different ideas of what’s appropriate.

    These east coast weddings are insane. And don’t get me started on the Bar Mitzvahs . . . the last one I went to cost more than a wedding.

  9. Kristine

    Men grow cold as girls grow old
    And we all lose our charm in the end
    But square-cut or pear-shape
    These rocks don’t lose their shape
    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

  10. Kristine

    By the way, its time for a math lesson:

    Length of pregnancy: 9 months

    “Great example on how a typical woman has NO concept of money. A $4 latte every day for 3 months is $360. A diamond big enough to satisfy this woman?s materialism will cost at least a few thousand. I feel sorry for your future husband. (DCB)”

    So, if you give up your lattes for the same amount of time a woman is pregnant over two children, assuming no miscarriages, then that’d be $2,160 there…

  11. SingularLiz

    Edward Jay Epstein actually wrote more than that article about diamonds, he wrote a whole fucking book. “The Rise & Fall of Diamonds.” Used to be up for free on his website. If you’re thinking about wanting/buying/needing a diamond, I suggest you find that book and read it. If you find, after reading that book that you still want/are buying/need a diamond, (man or woman) you’re a fucking idiot.

    At one point in the late ’30’s DeBeers had a stockpile of 40 million carats which they kept in reserve to keep the market from flooding. Oppenheimer (who owns DeBeers) actually considered dumping several TONS of them into the ocean to prevent them from reaching the market in the event his creditors should ever want to liquify the company.

    Do you know what that means? The rock currently sitting on your finger is actually worthless. If you want something clear and shiny, buy glass.

    And since I’m a woman who is obviously taking the “high road” by saying “I hate diamonds” and is clearly lying, I suggest you take Eddie’s word for it:

    http://edwardjayepstein.com/diamond/prologue.htm

  12. Diana

    The reality is:
    for women, any diamond, but ESPECIALLY large diamonds are irresistible, whether the are willing to admit it or not.
    For men, it’s huge TV’s – the bigger the better- paired with the inevitable black leather sofa…

    We BOTH have our dopey weaknesses. Human nature, ya know?

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  16. dc girl

    The diamond engagement ring has become a tradition, and all traditions start at some place…at some time. I do not think there is anything wrong with a nice ring, it is a symbol of committment. Of course, nowadays, people scoff at the institution of marriage..committment and very little importance is given at all. I mean we live in the day and age of 30 minute marriages! So, it does not surprise me that a large majority of men are not comfortable buying something so expensive…It seems as if there is very little faith in love at all. I find it to be sad, really….
    Of course, there is the group of people (you know who you are!) who scoff at the expense of diamond engagement rings because they are a) jealous b)will never spend that amount themselves on anyone c)or themself d) cannot be happy for anyone.
    I am very lucky to have found a wonderful guys who is my best friend and treats me well. When he proposed he bought me a very small, delicate ring that he could affort at that time. I acepted, and was overjoyed. Later, he chose to buy me another ring, after years of committment. Because he wanted to. And I have to say sometimes I do not even where it because I get so many catty looks and comments. Maybe people think I married him for the ring? I don’t know. but more importantly, THEY don’t know ME. And that is why they can go on endlessly babbling…because they have forgotten the beauty of true love and committment…
    It is very sad. I know diamond or no diamond, I would still love my guy, and always have. If myhusband chose to give me ring as a another symbol of his love, I am gracious and happy. If he wants to give me a backrub to symbolize his love, I am equally gracious and happy.
    The truth is that I know what is more important — the two of us together.

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  18. Amy

    I am another female who hates diamonds. Basically, they are boring. They have no color. Their value is a figment of our collective imagination. I’d rather buy antique jewelery, art nouveau stuff, with colored gemstones that have real “personality” rather than the boring old solitaire in a gold or platinum setting.

    Also, I saw, years ago, before the Blood Diamond movie, the conditions of a man in Africa who actually had to dive under water, holding his breath, in a muddy cesspool, to find them. He would receive no break and risk his life daily.

    I say, go ahead and THROW THEM ALL INTO THE OCEAN! This is a worldwide scam. Few women these days think for themselves and are able to overcome the subtle brainwashing that advertising perpetrates 24 hours a day.

  19. Brigitte

    This article is brilliant. I am so glad that others realize the incredible marketing scheme that has manipulated the minds of the population to wholeheartedly believe that diamonds are tantamount to love and affection. Not only are rings in themselves a symbol of ownership but even in their modern reinvention they have become objects that determine the “value” of a woman which must be matched by the “worthiness” of a man. The value and worth of human beings are being lowered to that of the inflated price of a stone. Although the success of the marketing strategy used by the international diamond industry should be commended as the epitomy of advertising genius, the effects on the impressionable public have been harmful. Women have become shallow and conniving in their quest for these rocks. Men have put the purchase of diamonds in place of true feelings of love and respect. In retrospect, diamonds are wrongly used as symbols of love and the joining of two humans together for all time, these worthless stones truly represent greed and indifference.

  20. Anonymous

    Phil, just for some hope for you…my brother and his wife have been incredibly happily married for a decade now and the ring was not a diamond. So there is one example.
    Also, I also told my current boyfriend that I do not want a diamond, ever. Sure, I would like some sort of symbol of our engagement just because it’s sentimental and a sweet tradition in my opinion, but I don’t need him to spend anywhere near 2 months salary on it, nor do I want a colorless, boring rock. yuck.
    I’d rather have a pretty band maybe with our favorite colored stone or something meaningful incorporated into it. Even if it’s cheap it would show that my boyfriend knows what I like and chose something to reflect our love. It would be nice if it didn’t fall apart or turn my finger green in a week…but that’s really not too much to ask.

    And girls, if you like clear shiny stones, just because that’s your thing, why not go with the stone that has been proven to look even more brilliant…moissanite. Get rid of this stupid idea that if it’s not diamond you’ll be looked down upon or he doesn’t love you enought to spend a lot. Tell him from the start that you would rather put that money away for a nest egg or a killer honeymoon.
    Diamond sellers have to use special machines to tell the difference, and the way that they can tell is because the Moissanite is more brilliant! There should be no quesiton here.

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